Wake Forest head football coach Jim Grobe on Wednesday announced the addition of 17 newcomers to the Demon Deacon football squad. Grobe announced the signing of 13 prospective student-athletes to National Letters of Intent and also released the names of four newcomers who enrolled at Wake Forest in January.
The signing class consists of players from seven states including eight from Florida and three from Georgia. The Demon Deacons also gained commitments from players in Arizona, Maryland, Missouri, North Carolina and Texas.
Offensively, Wake will have nine additions including quarterback Ted Stachitas from Jacksonville, FL Nease High School. Stachitas, the Florida Times Union Player of the Year, succeeded Tim Tebow as quarterback at Nease. Tebow won the Heisman Trophy last fall as the quarterback at the University of Florida.
The Deacons will welcome four new offensive linemen including Gabe Irby (6-3, 315) of Habersham, GA; Joe Looney (6-3, 315) of Lake Worth, FL; Chance Raines (6-2, 270) of Jacksonville (Bolles School) and Garrick Williams (6-4, 314) of Columbia, MO (Rock Bridge).
The new offensive players also include a pair of tight ends in J.T. Dixon (6-4, 230) who comes toWake Forest from Hargrave Military Academy in Chatham, VA, and Andrew Parker (6-5, 225) from Jacksonville, FL (Bartram Trail). Terence Davis (6-1, 180) of Lilburn, GA (Brookwood) is the lone projected wide receiver in the class while Lovell Jackson (5-10, 170) of Tampa, FL (Plant) is the only running back signed by the Deacons.
The seven newest members of the Deacon defense include a trio of linemen, three linebackers and a cornerback. On the defensive front, Wake Forest will add Derricus Ellis (6-2, 225) from Rome, GA (Darlington); Kevin Smith (6-4, 210) from Plano, TX (East) and Ramon Booi (6-6, 330) from Jacksonville, FL (Nease). At linebacker, the Deacons are joined by Scott Betros (6-1, 220) from Jacksonville, FL (Bolles), Joey Ehrmann (6-4, 210) from Baltimore, MD (Gilman) and Riley Haynes (6-1, 225) from Jacksonville, FL (Nease). The newcomer in the secondary is Kenny Okoro (6-0, 185) from Greensboro, NC (Dudley).
Among the newcomers, two have brothers already playing for the Deacons. Ellis is the brother of starting linebacker Chantz McClinic while Riley Haynes is the younger brother of linebacker Hunter Haynes.
Four members of the signing class are already enrolled in classes at Wake Forest and will participate in spring drills. Looney and Williams each graduated from high school in December. Dixon finished his coursework at Hargrave Military in December and Raines sat out the fall semester while rehabbing a broken foot.
Wakeís signing class includes eight players from Florida including six from the Jacksonville area. Booi, Stachitas and Haynes were all members of the Nease High team that played in three straight state championship games and won the title in 2005. The addition of Betros and Raines from the Bolles School gives Wake Forest five players with ties to the Buccaneers including returners Riley Skinner, John Russell and Cannon Gaskin.
Odds and Ends
Signees By Side Of The Ball:
Signees By Position:
Signees By State:
Wake Forest Football Signing Class of 2007
Helped the Bulldogs to the Florida 2A state championship in 2007 . . . First team Class 2A all-state pick as a junior and senior . . . Named to the All-First Coast team in 2006 . . . Member of the Florida Times-Unionís Super 75 listing of the top senior players in the state . . . Also on the FTU Super 24 list . . . Member of Prep Starís All-Southeast Region team . . . Ranked 32nd in the nation at middle linebacker by Scout.Com and 42nd by Rivals.Com . . . The 63rd-ranked player in Florida by Scout.Com . . . Played for head coach Corky Rogers, the winningest high school football coach in Florida history . . . Helped Bolles to consecutive undefeated regular seasons . . . Recorded 122 tackles, two sacks and two interceptions as a junior in 2006 . . . Intercepted a pair of passes against Mandarin in the final regular season game of his senior season . . . Also plays catcher on the Bolles baseball team . . .
Earned first team all-state recognition from the Florida Sports Writers Association as a senior at Nease High . . . Named all-county and all-league while earning mention on the Florida Times Union Super 24 squad . . . Member of the Florida Times-Unionís Super 75 listing of the top senior players in the state . . . Member of Prep Starís All-Southeast Region team . . . Named first team all-county by the St. Augustine Record . . . Scout.com ranks him as the 51st-best defensive tackle in the class of 2008 while Rivals.Com ranks him No. 45 among offensive guards . . . Considered among the top 100 players in Florida by Rivals.Com . . . Recorded 77 tackles, 17 tackles for loss and forced four fumbles as a senior . . . Helped Nease to three straight Class 4A state championship games including a state title in 2005 . . . Played for coach Craig Howard .
Played quarterback and defensive back at Brookwood High . . . Helped the Broncos to a 9-3 record and the second round of the state playoffs . . . Played for coach Mark Crews . . . Helped Brookwood to three Region 8-5A championships . . . The squad spent 15 weeks in the state top 10 and finished seventh in the final poll . . . As a junior, led the Broncs to a 14-1 record and a No. 2 final ranking in the state . . . Native of Syracuse, NY . . . Caught seven passes for 124 yards and two touchdowns as a junior before moving to quarterback as a senior . . . Claimed the 5A state title in the high jump in 2006 with a leap of 6í8" . . . Jumped 6í6" as a junior in 2007 to finish second in the state . . . Rushed for three touchdowns in a 28-3 win over Parkview as a senior . . . Earned All-Metro honors from the Atlanta Track Club in the high jump . . . Runs a 4.48 40-yard dash . . . Member of Prep Starís All-Southeast Region team . . . Considered the 77th-best player in Georgia by Scout.Com.
Enrolled at Wake Forest in January . . . Ranked as the 24th-best prep school player in the country by Rivals.Com . . . Played at Hargrave Military in 2007 for coach Robert Prunty . . . Former Deacon Jyles Tucker, now with the San Diego Chargers, also attended Hargrave . . . Helped Chandler, AZ Hamilton High to a state championship in 2006 with a 34-15 win over Mesa Mountain View in the title game in which he caught a touchdown pass . . . The Huskies also won the state Class 5A Division I title in 2004 . . . The Huskies were 26-2 in his last two years and finished first in the Fiesta Region each season . . . Second team all-region as a senior . . . Played for coach Steve Belles as a senior at Hamilton and John Wrenn as a sophomore and junior . . . Earned Prep School All-America honors from Prep Star magazine.
Brother of current Wake Forest linebacker Chantz McClinic . . . Member of Prep Starís All-Southeast Region team . . . Selected to the Rome News-Tribune All-Area team as a running back . . . Ranked among the top 130 defensive ends by Scout.Com . . . Helped the Darlington School to a 9-3 record and the second round of the state playoffs in 2007 . . . Played for coach Tommy Atha . . . Rushed for 1,128 yards and 13 touchdowns on 227 carries (4.9 yards per carry) . . . Rushed 90 times for 567 yards (6.3 YPG) as a junior while making 67 tackles including four sacks, seven tackles for loss and two fumble recoveries . . . Also plays basketball for the Tigers . . . Honorable mention All-Northwest Georgia selection in basketball as a junior . . . Chose Wake Forest over Duke and Vanderbilt . . . Son of Jeanene McClinic and Alonzo Ellis . . . Born Nov. 27, 1989.
Ranked as the 46th-best outside linebacker in the nation by Rivals.Com . . . Rivals.Com calls him the 12th-best player in Maryland . . . First team all-city and honorable mention all-state pick as a junior . . . Named to the Super 22 Team by the Baltimore Football Club . . . Second team all-city by the Baltimore Sun as a senior . . . Three-year letterman who led the team with 117 tackles as a senior (87 solo, 30 assists) . . . Posted 31 tackles for loss, 16 sacks and three interceptions . . . Saw action at tight end where he caught nine passes for 79 yards and two touchdowns . . . Helped lead the Greyhounds to a share of their eighth Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association Class A title in 10 years under head coach Biff Poggi . . . Gilman went 6-3 in 2007 and finished seventh in the final city poll . . . Runs a 4.55 40 . . . Had offers from Iowa, Syracuse and Duke . . . His father, Joe Ehrmann, was the 10th overall pick in the 1973 NFL draft as a defensive tackle out of Syracuse . . . Played in the NFL with the Baltimore Colts and Detroit Lions as well as in the USFL . . .
"Joey is an unbelievable human being. He is the consummate team player. He has the unique ability to get to the passer, especially off the edge. Joey has a tremendous upside."
Suffered a torn ACL in his left knee in September to bring an early close to his high school football career . . . Played for head coach Bill Howard . . . Rushed for 247 yards and four touchdowns on 30 carries against Hebron in the second game of the 2007 season . . . Injured his knee the following week in the first quarter against Richardson Berkner . . . Ripped off a 63-yard touchdown run vs. Hebron . . . Rushed for 93 yards in the 2007 season-opening win over Mesquite Poteet with scoring runs of 17 and 45 yards . . . Suffered a torn ACL in the first game of his junior season as well . . . Also an outstanding track athlete who won the District 9-5A 100 meter title in 2007 . . . Was third in the district meet in 2007 in the 200 meters with a 22.29 clocking and a member of the district champion 800 meter relay team . . . Ran a 10.44 100m (electronic) at the Jesuit-Sheaner Relays in 2007 . . . In late January, 2008, just 15 weeks after ACL surgery, clocked a 10.7 in the 100 meters . . . Currently ranked as the fourth fastest in the 100 meters in the Texas high school ranks . . . Also had offers from Wisconsin, UNLV and Utah.
Younger brother of Wake Forest linebacker Hunter Haynes . . . Named first team all-county by the St. Augustine Record . . . Honorable mention Class 4A all-state selection as a senior . . . Member of the Florida Times Union Super 24 team . . . First team All-First Coast by the Times Union . . . Member of the Florida Times-Unionís Super 75 listing of the top senior players in the state . . . Named to Prep Starís All-Southeast Region team . . . Ranked 58th among middle linebackers by Scout.com . . . Two-year starter at linebacker for the Panthers . . . Collected 143 tackles as a senior including seven tackles for loss and 2.5 sacks . . . Helped Nease to three straight Class 4A state championship games including a state title in 2005 . . . Played for coach Craig Howard.
Named to the Georgia All-Area team by the Anderson (SC) Independent-Mail . . . Honorable mention pick on the Georgia Football Magazine 2007 All-Classification All-State team . . . All-Area first team pick by the Gainesville Times . . . Member of Prep Starís All-Southeast Region team . . . The 61st-ranked offensive guard in the class of 2008 by Scout.com . . . Led Habersham Central to consecutive Class 4-A quarterfinals . . . Named first team all-state by the Georgia Sports Writers Association and NFLHS/Atlanta Journal-Constitution . . . Also selected to the Region 8-4A first team . . . Played right tackle as a junior and left tackle as a senior . . . Helped the Raiders to an 11-2 record and the quarterfinals of the state playoffs . . . Played for head coach Gene Cathcart . . . Habersham also reached the quarterfinals in 2006 . . . Also plays basketball for the Raiders . . . Named to the all-tournament team at the Community Bank and Trust Holiday Classic basketball tournament . . . Son of Tom and Dea Irby . .
A versatile athlete who was effective for Tampa Plant HS as a rusher, receiver and kick returner . . . Rushed 34 times for 304 yards and one touchdown as a senior . . . Caught 29 passes for 517 yards and seven scores . . . Averaged 10.7 yards per punt return and 26.3 yards on kickoff returns . . . Rushed for one touchdown as a senior and caught eight scoring passes . . . Helped Plant to an 8-2 record in 2007 . . . Second-leading rusher as a junior in 2006 with 482 yards and four touchdowns . . . Helped lead the Panthers to a 15-0 record in 2006 and the 4A state championship . . . Plant beat Nease in the 2006 state championship game . . . Nease was quarterbacked by fellow Deacon signee Ted Stachitas . . . Jackson scored on a 69-yard run in the state championship win . . . A hamstring injury limited his playing time as a senior . . . Caught six passes for 152 yards and two touchdowns in a win over Northeast . . . Played for Coach Robert Weiner . . . Also runs track where he has logged a 10.69 100 meters . . . Member of Prep Starís All-Southeast Region team . . . Scout.com ranks him among the top 140 senior running backs in the nation.
Enrolled at Wake Forest in January . . . Will participate in spring drills . . . Considered one of the top offensive linemen in Florida . . . Scout.Com calls Looney the 21st-best offensive tackle nationally and the No. 66 player coming out of Florida in 2008 . . . Rivals.Com ranks him 26th among guards and 56th in Florida . . . Earned first team all-state honors in Class 6A from the Florida Sports Writers Association . . . First team All-Palm Beach County by the South Florida Sun-Sentinel as a senior after earning second team all-state honors as a junior . . . Member of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel Super 11 team . . . Named the FACA All-District 17 offensive tackle . . . Member of Prep Starís All-Southeast Region team . . . Invited to the Outback Senior All-Star game for the top seniors in South Florida . . . Selected to the Max Emfinger International All-American Bowl Game Classic in Jackson, MS where he was named the offensive line MVP . . . Was considered the most dominating offensive lineman in the all-star game . . . Four-year starter for Lake Worth for head coach Errick Lowe . . . Averaged nearly 10 knockdown blocks per game as a senior . . . Helped the Trojans to a 7-4 record in 2007 as Lake Worth finished second in its district . . . Chose Wake Forest over Louisville, Rutgers, South Florida and West Virginia . . . His father, James Looney, played at Louisville.
"Joe was the hardest working player in our program. Itís rare to get a player that good who works that hard. And as good as he became, he always wanted to work on his weaknesses. Any program in the country would be happy to have a whole team full of Joe Looneyís."
Was the Greensboro News and Record All-Area Player of the Year as a senior . . . An outstanding cornerback who also is a dangerous receiver and punt returner . . . Versatile athlete who even filled in at quarterback at times during the state title run in 2007 . . . Member of the NCPreps.com 3A All-State team . . . Ranked as the 33rd-best player coming out of North Carolina in 2008 . . . Played for Coach Steven Davis . . . Helped the Panthers to the 3-AA state championship in 2007 . . . Led Dudley to a 13-3 record as a senior with a 28-20 win over Charlotte Catholic in the state championship game . . . The Panthers were 10-3 in 2006 . . . Had two touchdown catches and a game-saving interception in a 20-14 win over Greensboro Page as a senior . . . Is the son of Nigerian immigrants.
"Kenny has been very important to our program. He is the one guy we definitely had to have in the big games to even have a chance. Since Iíve been here, he is probably the best athlete on both sides of the ball. Kenny has great knowledge of the game and is an outstanding athlete."
An outstanding blocker who started his prep career as a 6-4, 190-pound quarterback . . . Member of the Florida Times-Unionís Super 75 listing of the top senior players in the state . . . Also on the FTU Super 24 squad . . . Member of Prep Starís All-Southeast Region team . . . Earned all-county honors at tight end as a senior . . . Third team all-state class 5A . . . Rated the 29th-best tight end and the 98th-best player nationally by Scout.Com . . . Ranked as the 42nd-best tight end nationally by Rivals.Com . . . Caught 26 passes for 374 yards and four touchdowns as a senior . . . Also threw one touchdown pass . . . Played for Coach Darrell Sutherland.
Enrolled at Wake Forest in January . . . Was considered one of the top centers in Florida following his senior season in 2006 . . . Played for head coach Corky Rogers, the winningest high school football coach in Florida history . . . Led Bolles to consecutive undefeated regular seasons . . . First team all-state pick by the Florida High School Athletic Association . . . First team All-First Coast selection by the Florida Times-Union . . . Invited to the Shrine Bowl . . . Received offers from Navy, South Florida, and Central Florida . . . Graduated from Bolles in 2007 and sat out the fall semester . . . Lettered five years for the Bulldogs, having made his varsity debut as an eighth-grader . . . Earned three state championship rings while at Bolles . . . Spent the fall working out and recovering from a broken foot suffered as a senior . . . Also served as an assistant coach at Providence High in the Jacksonville area . . . His father earned All-America honors at Alabama while playing for Paul "Bear" Bryant.
The lone member of the class from Texas . . . A wide receiver who had also considered playing college basketball . . . Earned first team honors on the All-District 9-5A team . . . Caught 49 passes for 713 yards and nine touchdowns as a senior . . . Was also used at defensive end as a senior . . . Helped the Panthers to a 6-4 record in 2007 . . . Nominated for the McDonaldís All-America High School basketball team . . . District 9-5A . . . Had five catches for 125 yards vs. Tyler . . . Had six receptions for 98 yards and eight tackles in the season finale against Plano High . . . Averaged 11.3 points and 6.5 rebounds per game as a junior . . . As a junior, caught 11 passes for 165 yards and one score.
Pronounced sta-KITE-us . . . Named the Florida Times Union Player of the Year and was a member of the Times Union Super 24 team . . . Two-time county player of the year by the St. Augustine Record . . . Second team all-state pick by the Florida Sports Writers Association as a senior, third-team pick as a junior . . . Named to the All-First Coast team as a senior . . . Member of the Florida Times-Unionís Super 75 listing of the top senior players in the state . . . Member of Prep Starís All-Southeast Region team . . . Scout.Com ranks him as the 25th-best quarterback in the nation and the 50th-best player in Florida in 2008 . . Helped Nease to three straight Class 4A state championship games including a state title in 2005 . . . Played for Coach Craig Howard . . . Completed 192 of 318 pass attempts as a senior for 2,257 yards and 21 touchdowns and just nine interceptions . . . Rushed 202 times for 845 yards and 15 touchdowns . . . Was successful on 171 of 264 passing attempts as a junior for 2,763 yards and 29 touchdowns . . . Also rushed for 1,177 yards and 13 scores in 2006 . . . Passed for over 5,000 yards in two seasons as a starter . . . Succeeded Floridaís Tim Tebow as the starting quarterback at Nease . . . Lost to Miamiís Booker T. Washington in the state championship game in 2007, 23-15 . . . Had a 92-yard run against Lincoln.
Enrolled at Wake Forest in January . . . Will participate in spring drills . . . Was named to the Columbia Tribune All-Area team as both a junior and senior . . . Rated the No. 19 high school senior coming out of Missouri in 2008 by both Scout.Com and Rivals.Com . . . Three-year starter for the Bruins who earned Class 6A all-state honors as a senior . . . Named to the all-district team as both a junior and senior . . . Also saw action on the defensive line where he recorded 28 tackles . . . Played for Coach A.J. Ofodile . . . Helped the Bruins to a 9-1 mark and a No. 1 ranking in the state as a junior in 2006 . . . Moved from right tackle to left tackle as a senior . . . Recorded 30 tackles and 1.5 sacks as a junior.
"Garrick is a very intelligent football player with outstanding feet and very good quickness for his size. He has always demonstrated a very strong work ethic and has an opportunity to develop into very good player at the collegiate level."
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